I don’t have a ton to say on the matter, other than I think it’s really cool that coffee is at a stage where these conversations can be held, and at the end of the day the industry is moving forward in really cool ways.
Today’s doodle is a shout out not to glassware or demitasses, but to my favorite time of the year in coffee—the time when all the roasters bust out their Kenyas.
While the conversations about pushing the coffee industry forward happen online this summer, I’m going to sit back and enjoy them with a nice cup of coffee from my favorite producing country. Here’s to productive conversations that push things forward.
I had the opportunity to get over to Greenwood’s Neptune Coffee (@neptunecoffee) this morning with Mark Barany (@kumacoffee) for coffee and conversations and geshas. The owners at Neptune were kind enough to pump out brews of a couple different Geshas for us to try from the MICE WBC event (roasted by the folks at Ninety Plus).
I think there are loads of opinions out there about Gesha coffees—some good, some bad, some misguided—but I will say this—the coffees were beautiful and bright, and had some extremely unique characteristics. Probably one of the most pronounced tasting notes I’ve ever experienced in a coffee came from the Perci (Panama)—tasted like cherry cola and strawberries.
It was a great experience, and a huge thank you to Balthazar and Christine from Neptune for dishing it out, to Mark Barany for the ride, and Mike Cannon (@superhariobros) for bringing it in from @ninetyplus.
Lots is happening at Neptune, and I’m hoping to get a feature out soon.
I’ve been in Seattle for about two weeks now and have had the chance to check out quite a bit of the city. The coffee scene is good, but the city itself is what’s hard to beat. It seems like everywhere you go you’re surrounded by water, lush vegetation and foliage, mountains in the distance—but you’re still in the city. It’s a fantastic dynamic and one that will be hard to leave.
I’ve been to a few shops so far—the brand new Slate Coffee brick-and-mortar in Ballard, the revamped Neptune Coffee (now serving Kuma Coffee and Velton’s), Milstead & Co. (!), and Stumptown on Pike. There’s still so much more to do and see, and I’m really excited about visits to La Marzocco, Slayer, and Synesso. Finding myself feeling extremely lucky to be out here for the summer!
In case you’ve been living off the grid, the Specialty Coffee Association of America is hosting it’s annual expo this week in Boston, MA. There’ll be symposiums, the USBC, more barista competitions, new gear from the biggest names, networking, parties, and probably even a Sprudge puppet—a Spruppet—if everyone gets lucky.
If you can’t be there like me, you can follow along on @sprudge, or just check out the hashtag #SCAA2013. There will be a lot going on, and it’s sure to be a great time.
Today’s doodle is inspired by all the fanfare and hooplah that surrounds the event, and features a Pirate Ship, a USBC staircase, and the city of Boston.
Sadly, I just polished off the last of my coffee from Workshop—I had the privilege of visiting on a recent trip up to London. I’d visited once before, as Workshop was making the transition from St. Ali to their now (beautifully) designed brand and identity, and couldn’t wait to get back.
Workshop successfully an seamlessly merges the ideas of a great coffee spot, fantastic food stop, and roastery into one space on Clerkenwell Road. With a large square bar in the center that focuses mainly on coffee, and a roasting space and green wall behind it, the entire aesthetic is both welcoming and well-designed.
For the last two months, I’ve had the privilege of interning with the guys over at Sprudge. Each week, I doodle up a little doodle, and provide a brief recap stew of stories from around the world of coffee.
This week’s doodle is a shout out to Cafe Imports and the gang of 2012 US Regional Barista Champions who just got back from running around Costa Rica, learning about coffee and having an amazing experience. If you do anything on Instagram this week, go check Sprudge and the #KostaFreaka hashtag—there were some amazing pictures coming out of Costa Rica.
I’m typically not all that impressed with Guatemalan coffees—not that I don’t think they’re good, I just don’t find many that stand out (Kuma also put out a great Guatemala over the summer).
This Guatemala Hunapu from Sweden’s Koppi breaks the trend. It’s a beautifully sweet coffee that leaves its mark with a deep berry finish (gooseberry, to be precise).
I’m really impressed with Koppi’s new packaging and the great card that comes with it, featuring their most recent t-shirt design.
I’ll be taking this coffee, a Porlex grinder, and an Aeropress when I head to the Austrian Alps tomorrow.
Another Portland coffee bites the dust. I used the last 30g of Water Avenue’s Oak Aged Sumatra to serve some out-of-town guests this morning.
I had a bit of trouble explaining the coffee to them—I’ve never tried an aged coffee, nor have I ever had a significant conversation with anyone who has an opinion on the matter.
Water Avenue recommends using a press for the coffee, and calls it one of their “grand experiments.”
Coffee is aged in Virgin White Oak, then roasted, which, according to Water Ave. “opens up a gigantic spectrum of subtle flavors locked away in this bean.”
I’m not sure how I feel about this coffee, but would recommend it to anyone who likes a more “traditional” tasting coffee—something roasted a bit on the darker end of the spectrum, and most likely enjoyed with an after dinner dessert.
An interesting experiment by the folks at Water Ave, to say the least.
I’d love to hear some opinions on aged coffee—I truly know nothing about it.